Nigeria Started 2024 Hajj Registration Now

Nigeria Started 2024 Hajj registration now, IHR tells NAHCON, states

In light of the early release of the 2024 events calendar by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a civil society organization overseeing Hajj and Umrah activities in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, has advised the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to promptly initiate the registration process for individuals intending to participate in the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage. This advice was conveyed through a statement issued by the organization’s National Coordinator, Malam Ibrahim Mohammed, in Makkah recently.

The IHR emphasized that the announcement of the 2024 events calendar, which occurred less than a week after the conclusion of the 2023 Hajj period, has introduced a new operating framework for countries participating in the Hajj, requiring them to finalize preparations for the next year’s Hajj within four months of the current one.

The IHR highlighted a significant policy shift regarding the allocation of tents in Mina on a first-come, first-served basis, necessitating an acceleration of preparations for the 2024 Hajj. It further advised NAHCON, State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, and Hajj and Umrah Operators to promptly commence preparations to ensure quality services for pilgrims during the upcoming 2024 Hajj.

The organization emphasized that effective preparation is crucial for providing a meaningful experience during the five days of Hajj rites. It pointed out the importance of tasks such as securing airline slots, allotting tents in Mina, arranging accommodations in Makkah and Madinah, funding visa accounts, and addressing financial commitments.

The IHR asserted that the outdated “pay-as-you-go” system of pilgrim registration is no longer suitable and called for the immediate commencement of registration for the 2024 Hajj, along with the implementation of an action plan. The organization informed that the Saudi Ministry of Hajj has already communicated the regular quota for the 2024 Hajj to some participating countries, confirming that Nigeria’s 95,000-Hajj quota will be maintained.

In preparation for the 2024 Hajj, the Saudi Minister of Hajj outlined a schedule for preparatory meetings, data entry, and the release of licensed company lists. The minister indicated that the allotment of accommodations and the issuance of visas would be concluded within the next few months, marking a timeline of less than 8 months.

Given the challenges faced in service delivery during the present year, the IHR noted that Nigeria’s traditional one-year Hajj plan is no longer compatible with the new operational plan from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj. The organization stressed the importance of initiating pilgrims’ registration promptly and beginning discussions with service providers for accommodations, transportation, and meals.

Considering Nigeria’s prominent role as the fifth-largest global Hajj contingent and the leading delegation in Africa, the IHR argued against the “pay today, travel tomorrow” approach, citing that other countries operate with five to six years of rolling Hajj plans. The organization urged immediate action, emphasizing the need to start preparations right away.

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